One day I got a call from Dr. G. Chandra Shekar Reddy, Indian Forest Service officer, then he was also leading Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad. He asked me to make documentaries on Mouse Deer, and White-backed Vulture.
I was thankful to Dr. Chandrashekar Reddy for giving me this opportunity, as I like nature and wildlife too. Going closer to these rare and beautiful creations was something, I was planning. They should be least disturbed and also should make the documentary.
The White-backed Vulture is an endangered species now only a few are there in the wilderness. Mr. Sandeep who was doing research and supporting the White Backed Vultures breeding program was asked to help me.
The first-day early morning, I went to the park. As it was winter, there was fog. As I entered from the back gate, welcomed by the roar of tigers and cacophonic calls of the birds. This zoological part is one of the most diverse and beautiful part, built below the multipurpose arch dam of Miralama tank.
We both went to the vultures breeding place; it is a huge apiary. Specially made to cater to the needs of the birds. It is closed from all sides up to three to four meters from bottom to cause the least disturbance to the birds. There were several birds, and they are awesome. The interesting thing is that recently one of the vultures has given a baby. Sandeep is very particular and does not want any interference. We both went around the enclosure and finally saw the beautiful baby bird and the mother on the sand floor. It is surprising for some reason this bird has laid the nest on the ground, in spite of having the perches, specially created. The mother was sitting on it and giving the warmth. It must be cold on the ground due to the sand. There were almost no openings from me to capture the birds and Sandeep said he would not open any window to take the shots. He said it is very rare that these birds give birth to babies and it is important to see that it survives. Finally said maybe after a fortnight, we will come back then the baby would grow up. We left the place.
We both moved to the mouse deer breeding center; there were tiger enclosures on the way. This enclosure has several chambers or cells, with small plants and grass. As we entered, I was curious to see them. Could not find anyone at first. Sandeep took me into an enclosure; I suddenly saw the mouse deer. Unlike any other deer, they are small of about a feet in height. This is a prehistoric animal survived till date, because of its nature. Also saw their babies. They are used to people entering the enclosure for cleaning, provide water and feed. I was wearing a sober dress and moved very slowly in the enclosure for not disturbing them much.
I planned my video and photo shooting, spread in some days. Scheduled to shoot especially during the mornings when the light is soft, and also these animals are active. I took two cameras, HD GoPro with a selfie stick and Canon Digital SLR camera. Especially sit patiently for the animals to come out or slowly crawl towards them for getting a picture. The first enclosure mouse deer probably became familiar with me; I had very less problem shooting here. For getting their close-up shots, I used to leave the HD GoPro camera on in the grass and go out or remain far off. These are curious animals. They sometimes came and licked my camera. It was so cute. I got some of the best shots of these Mouse Deer and made a documentary using both still photos and videos. Dr. G. Chandra Shekar Reddy provided the voiceover and completed this film. Opportunities are rare; everything gives a chance to live another life. Spending time for other life to understand is also worth.
Through the Mouse deer conservation program from less than 10, increased its population to about 150 nos. They were native to Nallamalai Forest area covering parts of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh states.